Thursday, December 27, 2012 a Little Christmas.

Christmas this year was first in a new apartment and first in town in a long time. We decorated small but I LOVED every little bit.

Friday, December 21, 2012 Snowflake Sugar Cookies

The Cookies:
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla

3 Cups Flour
2 Tbsp Baking Powder

Cream Sugar and Butter, mix in Egg and Vanilla. Add Flour mixed with Baking Powder in 3-4 batches. Keep the dough in the fridge and roll it out in small batches. It gets sticky if you let it warm up.

1 Snowflake Cookie Cutter
Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes.

4 Cups Powder Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
5 Tbsp Heavy Cream
2 tsp Vanilla*

*don't add if you want pure white frosting, I wasn't thinking and my snowflake frosting came out a little brownish...

Friday, December 14, 2012 Pop's Birthday Cake, German Chocolate Cake

The Cake:
1pkg. (4 oz.) BAKER'S GERMAN'S Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup water
4 eggs, separated
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

HEAT oven to 350°F.

COVER bottoms of 3 (9-inch) round pans with waxed paper; spray sides with cooking spray. Microwave chocolate and water in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

BEAT egg whites in small bowl with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.

ADD egg whites; stir gently until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.

BAKE 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run small spatula around cakes in pans. Cool cakes in pans 15 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Spread Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting between cake layers and onto top of cake.

The Frosting:
4 egg yolks
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 pkg. (7 oz.) BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut (2-2/3 cups)
1-1/2 cups Slivered Almonds

BEAT egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter; cook on medium heat 12 min. or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

ADD coconut and nuts; mix well. Cool to desired spreading consistency.

Sunday, November 25, 2012 .325 Architect?

Can you be 32.5% architect? If there is such a thing, I'm one of them.

Tests Passed: 3!
Tests Remaining: 5....

Friday, November 23, 2012 Pechapple Crumble Pie

Per Little Brother's Request...

In the Pie:
3 Apples, Thinly Sliced
3 Peaches, Thinly Sliced
1 Pie Crust
2 Tbsp Flour
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 Pie Crust

In the Crumble:
1 Cup Oats
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Butter
1 tsp Cinnamon

Line pie pan or 8x8 with pie crust. Combine sliced fruit and other ingredients in separate bowl and pour into crust. Top with crumble and bake for 30 minutes or until crumble looks nicely toasted.

The only picture I have of the pie:
...and t-rex attacks the pechapple crumble pie, he leaves no survivors.

Sunday, October 7, 2012 a Testing Break

Time to become an architect, looks like my little blog is going to take a major hit until December. I have sold my soul to eight tests and a class with an intense study schedule. Ideally this will allow me to be licensed though it comes at the expense of any free time, so fingers crossed!.

Now if only I could fight off the urge to bake chocolate chip cookies.
Until later....

Friday, September 28, 2012 for the Love of the Game

This past weekend one of my darling friends (a college roommate) married a lovely southern boy from Georgia. They share an intense love for baseball. She is a San Francisco Giants fan and he's an Atlanta Braves fan. With that in mind I wanted to make them a special something to celebrate their love of the game and their love for each other.

Here's the inspiration for this project:

I took a few liberties on 'we met', 'we married' & 'we live'. And used prints of each of their team's stadium and a little love in the middle.

So there's more to these stadium's than the handful of games they attended at each. At AT&T Park, Will took Sarah on a behind the scenes tour where they were able to play catch in the infield. After throwing one wide, to make her run for it, she turned around to him on one knee over home plate.

And the Braves Stadium was the location of their GORGEOUS engagement photos.

The steps to make this present were pretty easy, I cropped the pictures and used Adobe Illustrator to write the words on the images before printing at my printer's top quality on some high gloss photo paper. 

I cut them out with an X-acto knife and stuck them to the backside of a floating frame with some double-stick tape.

I cleaned a few finger prints off the glass and set it all in place.

Lastly, I dated the back with their wedding day, signed it to the Mr. & Mrs. and added a little love.

The final product all set and ready to go!

Sunday, September 16, 2012 Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Enchiladas

1 Large Zucchini, 1/4'' dice
1 Yellow Squash, 1/4'' dice
1 Mexican Grey Squash, 1/4'' dice
3 tsp Olive Oil, Divided
Salt & Pepper
1/2 of a Small Red Onion
1 15 oz. can/2 Cups Black Beans, Rinsed and Drained
1 Lime Zested and Juiced
1 bunch of Cilantro, Chopped
5 oz. Soft goat Cheese
10ish Flour Tortillas
12 oz. Trader Joes Red Enchilada Sauce
2 Avocados

Preheat oven to 425'. Place the Zucchini on a rimmed baking tray, drizzle with 2 tsp. of the Olive Oil and Salt and Pepper. Toss everything with your hands to coat. Spread in an even layer, using two pans if it looks crowded. Roast on the middle rack for about 30 minutes until the edges are brown. Remove to cool. Turn the oven down to 375'.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the Onion, Black Beans, Cilantro, Lime Zest & Juice. Set aside 1 oz. of the Goat Cheese for the topping and crumble the rest into the bowl. Add the cooled Zucchini and toss everything together very gently. Set up your assembly with the tortillas and the filling.

In a 9x13 oven proof rectangle dish pour 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Working with one tortilla at a time, fill it with a heaping 1/4 cup of the filling and roll it up like a taquito. Lay it in the dish seam-side down. Continue with remaining tortillas, squeezing the enchiladas in tight (you may have extra filling, it's great on it's own as a snack or in a quesadilla). Brush the tops of the tortillas with the remaining olive oil. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle reserved Goat Cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes until warmed through and the top is just crisp. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Top with lots of diced Avocado. Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

A, only slightly altered, Gluten Free recipe from Eat-Live-Run.

1/3 Cup Coconut Oil, room temperature
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1-1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 tsp Salt
2-1/2 Cups Whole Oats*
1 10-oz bag Dark Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Almond Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
2 tsp Vanilla

*The Original Recipe called for 3 Cups. When I used this it made the cookies a little more like Granola and they had trouble holding shape. I had to force them into the cookie scoop to hold shape. They were still delicious but I think next time I'll try a few less Oats.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the Coconut Oil, Almond Butter, Sugar and Brown Sugar until well blended. Add Vanilla extract. Keep beating until everything is combined.

In another bowl, mix together the Oats, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon and Flour. Add to wet ingredients along with Chocolate Chips. Mix until just combined.

Roll small balls of dough (using a Cookie Scoop is easier, it looks like a Mini-Ice Cream Scoop) and place three inches apart on a silpat or parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Do not flatten dough balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffy. Let cool for 5 minutes on sheet tray before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.

Friday, August 31, 2012 a Pulled Pork Compilation

I recently received a wonderful gift when my dad returned from taking my little brother to college. Four Bottles of BBQ Sauce. I think they were apologizing for sending pictures of them eating BBQ and going to Baseball games without me. I got one of each style from Pappy's Smokehouse (Holly's Hot Sauce, Pappy's Original & Sweet Baby Jane) and one Night of the Living Bar-B-Que from Oklahoma Joe's.

Naturally I tried to put it to it's intended use and try my hand at Pulled Pork, first time ever. I did a little research and pulled the best of about 6 recipes on how to make a rub and how to cook it in a crock pot, here's what I came up with. I've got plans to improve it for next time but it was, as anything with Pappy's  Sauce, delicious.

The Rub:
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp White Pepper
1/2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

The Rest:
2 lbs Pork Loin Ribs
1 Red Onion
Olive Oil
Chicken Broth

Place Onions with a little bit of Olive Oil into Crock Pot on Hi and let soften while you prepare the Meat. Rub Meat with Olive Oil & Spices.

Place Pork in cCrock Pot and mix with Onions, cover with 2 Cups of Chicken Broth then add Water until Meat and Onions are covered. Turn heat to Low and Slow Cook for 6-8 Hours.

Remove Pork, discard layer of fat as well as any water and grease remaining in pot.  Separate Onions and Sauté with a little left over Rub.  When pork is cool enough to handle, use a fork or your hands to shred and pull the meat apart.

Return the meat to the crock pot along with the Barbecue Sauce, just enough to coat the Meat & not so much that it's soupy. Heat for 1 to 2 hours. Serve on your favorite roll.

Thanks to the Food Network for letting me thieve bits and pieces of delicious recipes. Mrs. M's Chicken Pot Pie

I've take  little liberties but I'll put up the original recipe with the disclaimer she gave me:
"Chicken pot pie recipe below! I don't care how many times you take out the carrots and celery, I'm still adding them."

1 Rotisserie Chicken, Meat Pulled Off & Shredded
1 Cup Carrots*, Diced
1/2 Cup Celery, Diced
4oz Mushrooms, Diced
1/3 Cup Butter
1/3 Cup Onion, Diced
1/3 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 3/4 Cups Chicken Broth
2/3 Cup Milk*
2 (9 inch) Unbaked Pie Crusts, Thawed

*I substituted Sweet Potato & Heavy Cream for these ingredients.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
In a saucepan, combine Carrots and Celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

In the saucepan over medium heat, cook Onions and Mushrooms in Butter until soft and translucent. Stir in Flour, Salt, & Pepper. Slowly stir in Chicken Broth and Milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat. Add Carrots, Celery, and Chicken. Stir until coated. (I sautéed the Celery and Sweet Potato in with the Onions.)

Place bottom pie crust in glass baking dish. Pour hot mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. (Mine never looks as good as Mrs. M's.)

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, August 23, 2012 Prep Kitchen, Little Italy

Wood Ceiling and Garden Lights. Fence Post and Old Windows as room dividers. Outdoor Chairs to make the upstairs inside feel even more like outside.

Windows lined Succulent and a Long Bench.

The aforementioned Big Windows, a Chandelier and a peek into the Bar Area.

A few delicious cocktails.

A charcuterie. 

A note: this is in the entrance of Prep Kitchen, I should start marketing some of our designs. This was in our original designs for Mr. & Mrs. M's Wine Closet. I like how they added the lighting.


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